ApsaraDB RDS provides highly available, reliable, secure, and scalable cloud-hosted databases that are comparable to commercial databases. These cloud-hosted databases cost about two thirds lower than self-managed databases that are hosted on Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances. In addition, these cloud-hosted databases cost about nine tenths lower than self-managed databases that are deployed on third-party database servers.

Price comparison between ApsaraDB RDS instances and self-managed databases

Item ApsaraDB RDS instance Self-managed database on ECS instance Self-managed database on third-party database server
Hardware, spare parts, and accessories You need only to pay for the RDS instances that you create. For example, an RDS instance that provides two vCPUs, 4 GB of memory, and 100 GB of storage to deliver up to 6,800 input/output operations per second (IOPS) costs USD 1,000 per year. You must purchase at least two ECS instances to set up a primary/secondary architecture. Two ECS instances that each provide two vCPUs, 4 GB of memory, and 100 GB of storage to deliver up to 6,800 IOPS costs USD 900 per year.
  • You must purchase at least two database servers. A database server that delivers up to 6,800 IOPS costs about USD 1,200.
  • You must purchase one internal switch that is used to connect to the frontend web server. A 1U non-hosted switch costs about USD 140.
  • You must purchase spare parts and accessories for future repairs and replacements. These spare parts and accessories cost at least 30% of the initial hardware fee.
  • The initial hardware fee is about USD 3,300 based on the following calculation: (1200 × 2 + 140) × 130% ≈ 3300.

    If the hardware is deprecated in three years, the annual fee for spare parts and accessories is USD 1,100 based on the following calculation: 3300/3 = 1100.

Data center hosting The cloud service provider pays the hosting fee. No fees are required from you. The cloud service provider pays the hosting fee. No fees are required from you. Every 1U of rack space costs USD 400 per year. The annual fee required to host two 1U database servers and one 1U internal switch is USD 1,200 based on the following calculation: 400 × 3 = 1200.
Bandwidth
  • ECS and RDS instances in the same region can communicate over an internal network free of charge.
  • ECS and RDS instances in different regions can communicate over the Internet. You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume. For more information, visit the ApsaraDB RDS pricing page.
  • ECS instances in the same region can communicate over an internal network free of charge.
  • ECS instances in different regions can communicate over the Internet. You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume. For more information, see Public bandwidth.
Your databases can communicate only over an internal network. You do not need to pay for Internet traffic, because you do not consume Internet traffic.
Database operations and maintenance (O&M) The cloud service provider pays the O&M fee. No fees are required from you. The monthly salary of a junior database administrator is USD 5,000 or more. If a database project accounts for 30% of the total workload that a junior database administrator needs to complete, the annual fee required to maintain that database project is at least USD 18,000 based on the following calculation: 5000 × 12 × 30% = 18000. The monthly salary of a junior database administrator is USD 5,000 or more. If a database project accounts for 30% of the total workload that a junior database administrator needs to complete, the annual fee required to maintain that database project is at least USD 18,000 based on the following calculation: 5000 × 12 × 30% = 18000.
Total USD 1,000 per year USD 18,900 per year USD 20,300 per year

Advantages of ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instances over self-managed MySQL databases

Item ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance Self-managed MySQL database on ECS instance Self-managed MySQL database on third-party database server
Cost-effectiveness
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • AliSQL is used. AliSQL is an independent MySQL branch that is developed by Alibaba Cloud. AliSQL provides a number of similar features that you can find in MySQL Enterprise Edition. These features allow you to improve user experience. For more information, see Overview of AliSQL features.
  • A free quota is offered to store backups. The free quota is up to twice the purchased storage capacity. For more information, see Backup storage pricing for an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • Internet traffic is free of charge.
  • User-provided domain names are supported free of charge.
  • Updates to ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL are released by Alibaba Cloud sequentially with the latest MySQL releases.
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • Open source MySQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You must pay for the backup storage that you use.
  • You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume.
  • The initial investment cost is high.
  • Open source MySQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You must allocate independent backup resources, which incur high costs.
  • You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume and the domain names that you use. The domain names are charged at high rates.
Availability
  • In RDS Basic Edition, your database system requires about 15 minutes to complete a failover.
  • In RDS High-availability Edition and Cluster Edition, your database system uses an Alibaba Cloud-proprietary high-availability architecture. This architecture allows your database system to complete a failover within 30 seconds.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to balance loads in your database system. For more information, see Overview of read-only ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instances.
  • Read/write splitting allows your database system to distribute read and write requests by using a unified read/write splitting endpoint. For more information, see Enable the read/write splitting feature for an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • Analytic RDS instances that are used to analyze data are under development.
  • In MySQL Standard Edition, your databases require about 30 minutes to complete a failover.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to set up a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to balance loads among your databases.
  • If you want to analyze data, you must create analytic databases. This is time-consuming and costly.
  • Your databases are standalone. If a database server breaks down, repairs can take hours to weeks.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to set up a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to balance loads among your databases.
  • If you want to analyze data, you must create analytic databases. This is time-consuming and costly.
Reliability
  • Automated replication of data between primary and secondary RDS instances, data backup, and log backup are provided to ensure high data reliability.
  • RDS Enterprise Edition with MySQL 5.7 or MySQL 8.0 supports a recovery point objective (RPO) of 0 and a recovery time objective (RTO) of about 1 minute.
  • Your databases are highly available only when they are deployed in an optimal high-availability architecture.
  • To deliver an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent research and development (R&D) services, which incur high costs.
  • Data reliability is moderate and varies based on the corruption probability of individual disks.
  • To deliver an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services, which incur high costs.
Usability
  • Automated backup and restoration support point in time recovery (PITR) and database-level backup and restoration. In addition, streaming backup is implemented to minimize the impacts on database performance. For more information, see Automatic and manual backups.
  • Automated monitoring and alerting allow ApsaraDB RDS to obtain the values of all the supported instance- and database-level metrics in single-digit seconds. If the value of a metric exceeds the specified threshold, ApsaraDB RDS sends an alert to you by using Short Message Service (SMS), email, or DingTalk. In addition, you are offered a free quota for SMS alerts based on your purchase details. For more information, see Configure an alert rule for an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • You can update the minor engine version of an RDS instance with a few clicks. For more information, see Update the minor engine version of an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • Automated backup is not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features, which incur high costs.
  • You must purchase an independent monitoring system and configure it in the CloudMonitor console.
  • Usability faces technical challenges.
  • Version updates are costly.
  • Automated backup is not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features, which incur high costs.
  • You must purchase or configure an independent monitoring system, which incurs high costs.
  • Remote data centers are costly and difficult to set up.
  • Version updates are costly.
Performance
  • RDS instances with local solid-state drives (SSDs) excel in performance.
  • RDS instances perform better with enhanced SSDs than with local or standard SSDs.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to increase database performance and balance loads.
  • The SQL Explorer feature can meet most of your requirements on database monitoring and performance optimization. For more information, see Use the SQL Explorer feature on an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • If you choose local disks, data reliability is reduced. However, if you choose cloud disks, you must plan a disk architecture, which incurs high costs.
  • If the same enhanced SSDs are used, ECS-hosted self-managed databases are inferior to RDS instances.
  • MySQL Cluster Edition is difficult to deploy due to high consultancy and maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced database administrators. This incurs high costs.
  • Database servers are updated at lower speeds than cloud computing hardware. Therefore, self-managed databases on these servers are inferior to RDS instances.
  • Compute-storage separation is difficult and can cost millions of US dollars on advanced storage media.
  • MySQL Cluster Edition is difficult to deploy due to high consultancy and maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced database administrators. This incurs high costs.
Security
  • The IP address whitelist, security group, and VPC isolation mechanisms are provided.
  • You must purchase or configure the link encryption and disk encryption protection mechanisms. This incurs high consultancy costs due to difficulties in the rotation of BYOKs.
  • SQL audit is difficult because you must store SQL logs separately.
  • You must configure the IP address whitelist and VPC isolation mechanisms. This incurs high consultancy costs.
  • You must purchase or configure the link encryption and disk encryption protection mechanisms. This incurs high consultancy costs due to difficulties in the rotation of BYOKs.
  • SQL audit is difficult because you must store SQL logs separately.

Advantages of ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instances over self-managed SQL Server databases

Item ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instance Self-managed SQL Server database on ECS instance Self-managed SQL Server database on third-party database server
Cost-effectiveness
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • SQL Server Web Edition is offered to increase cost-effectiveness.
  • A free quota is offered to store backups. The free quota is equal to half the purchased storage capacity. For more information, see Backup storage pricing for an ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instance.
  • Internet traffic is free of charge.
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • SQL Server Web Edition is not offered.
  • You must pay for the backup storage that you use.
  • You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume.
  • The initial investment cost is high.
  • SQL Server Web Edition is not offered.
  • You must allocate independent backup resources, which incur high costs.
  • You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume and the domain names that you use. The domain names are charged at high rates.
Availability
  • In RDS Basic Edition, your database system requires about 15 minutes to complete a failover.
  • In RDS High-availability Edition and Cluster Edition, your database system uses an Alibaba Cloud-proprietary high-availability architecture. This architecture allows your database system to complete a failover within 30 seconds.
  • In RDS Cluster Edition, you can create read-only RDS instances to balance loads in your database system. For more information, see Overview of read-only ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instances.
  • In RDS Cluster Edition, you can use read/write splitting to distribute read and write requests by using a unified read/write splitting endpoint. For more information, see Overview of read/write splitting.
  • In SQL Server Standard Edition, your databases require about 30 minutes to complete a failover.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to set up a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to balance loads among your databases.
  • Your databases are standalone. If a database server breaks down, repairs can take hours to weeks.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to set up a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to balance loads among your databases.
Reliability
  • Automated replication of data between primary and secondary RDS instances, data backup, and log backup are provided to ensure high data reliability.
  • RDS Cluster Edition delivers an RPO of 0.
  • Your databases are highly available only when they are deployed in an optimal high-availability architecture.
  • To deliver an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services, which incur high costs.
  • Data reliability is moderate and varies based on the corruption probability of individual disks.
  • To deliver an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services, which incur high costs.
Usability
  • Automated backup and restoration support PITR and database-level backup and restoration. In addition, streaming backup is implemented to minimize the impacts on database performance. For more information, see Automatic and manual backups.
  • Automated monitoring and alerting allow ApsaraDB RDS to obtain the values of all the supported instance- and database-level metrics in single-digit seconds. If the value of a metric exceeds the specified threshold, ApsaraDB RDS sends an alert to you by using SMS, email, or DingTalk. In addition, you are offered a free quota for SMS alerts based on your purchase details. For more information, see Configure an alert rule for an ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instance.
  • Geo-disaster recovery is under development.
  • Automated backup is not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features, which incur high costs.
  • You must purchase an independent monitoring system and configure it in the CloudMonitor console.
  • Usability faces technical challenges.
  • Automated backup is not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features, which incur high costs.
  • You must purchase or configure an independent monitoring system, which incurs high costs.
  • Remote data centers are costly and difficult to set up.
Performance
  • RDS instances that run SQL Server 2008 R2 with local SSDs excel in performance. RDS instances that run SQL Server 201x support next-generation compute-storage separation, which benefits from hardware dividends.
  • RDS instances perform better with enhanced SSDs than with local or standard SSDs.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to increase database performance and balance loads.
  • If you choose local disks, data reliability is reduced. However, if you choose cloud disks, you must plan a disk architecture, which incurs high costs.
  • If the same enhanced SSDs are used, ECS-hosted self-managed databases are inferior to RDS instances.
  • SQL Server Enterprise Edition is difficult to deploy due to high consultancy and maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced database administrators. This incurs high costs.
  • Database servers are updated at lower speeds than cloud computing hardware. Therefore, self-managed databases on these servers are inferior to RDS instances.
  • Compute-storage separation is difficult and can cost millions of US dollars on advanced storage media.
  • SQL Server Enterprise Edition is difficult to deploy due to high consultancy and maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced database administrators. This incurs high costs.
Security
  • The IP address whitelist, security group, and VPC isolation mechanisms are provided.
  • You must purchase or configure the link encryption and disk encryption protection mechanisms. This incurs high consultancy costs.
  • SQL audit is difficult because you must store SQL logs separately.
  • You must configure the IP address whitelist and VPC isolation mechanisms. This incurs high consultancy costs.
  • You must purchase or configure the link encryption and disk encryption protection mechanisms. This incurs high consultancy costs.
  • SQL audit is difficult because you must store SQL logs separately.
Legal liability ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server is provided with a valid license. You do not need to bear legal liabilities. You must purchase a valid license. You must purchase a valid license. Otherwise, you may bear legal liabilities.

Advantages of ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instances over self-managed PostgreSQL databases

Item ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instance Self-managed PostgreSQL database on ECS instance Self-managed PostgreSQL database on third-party database server
Cost-effectiveness
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • AliPG is used. AliPG is compatible with open source PostgreSQL. AliPG provides various features to improve user experience. These features include a number of Alibaba Cloud-proprietary features. For more information, see AliPG benefits.
  • A free quota is offered to store backups. The free quota is up to twice the purchased storage capacity. For more information, see Backup storage pricing for an ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instance.
  • Internet traffic is free of charge.
  • User-provided domain names are supported free of charge.
  • Updates to ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL are released by Alibaba Cloud sequentially with the latest PostgreSQL releases.
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • Open source PostgreSQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You must pay for the backup storage that you use.
  • You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume.
  • The initial investment cost is high.
  • Open source PostgreSQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You must allocate independent backup resources, which incur high costs.
  • You must pay for the Internet traffic that you consume and the domain names that you use. The domain names are charged at high rates.
Availability
  • In RDS Basic Edition, your database system requires about 15 minutes to complete a failover.
  • In RDS High-availability Edition and Cluster Edition, your database system uses an Alibaba Cloud-proprietary high-availability architecture. This architecture allows your database system to complete a failover within 30 seconds.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to balance loads in your database system. For more information, see Overview of read-only ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instances.
  • In the basic PostgreSQL edition, your databases require about 30 minutes to complete a failover.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to set up a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to balance loads among your databases.
  • Your databases are standalone. If a database server breaks down, repairs can take hours to weeks.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to set up a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to balance loads among your databases.
Reliability
  • Automated replication of data between primary and secondary RDS instances, data backup, and log backup are provided to ensure high data reliability.
  • RPO customization allows you to specify an RPO of 0.
  • Your databases are highly available only when they are deployed in an optimal high-availability architecture.
  • To deliver an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services, which incur high costs.
  • Data reliability is moderate and varies based on the corruption probability of individual disks.
  • To deliver an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services, which incur high costs.
Usability
  • Automated backup and restoration support PITR and database-level backup and restoration. In addition, streaming backup is implemented to minimize the impacts on database performance. For more information, see Automatic and manual backups.
  • Automated monitoring and alerting allow ApsaraDB RDS to monitor all the supported instance- and database-level metrics. If the value of a metric exceeds the specified threshold, ApsaraDB RDS sends an alert to you by using SMS, email, or DingTalk. In addition, you are offered a free quota for SMS alerts based on your purchase details. For more information, see Configure an alert rule for an ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instance.
  • Automated backup is not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features, which incur high costs.
  • You must purchase an independent monitoring system and configure it in the CloudMonitor console.
  • Automated backup is not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features, which incur high costs.
  • You must purchase or configure an independent monitoring system, which incurs high costs.
Performance
  • RDS instances with local SSDs excel in performance.
  • RDS instances perform better with enhanced SSDs than with local or standard SSDs.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to increase database performance and balance loads.
  • If you choose local disks, data reliability is reduced. However, if you choose cloud disks, you must plan a disk architecture, which incurs high costs.
  • If the same enhanced SSDs are used, ECS-hosted self-managed databases are inferior to RDS instances.
  • You must recruit experienced database administrators. This incurs high costs.
  • Database servers are updated at lower speeds than cloud computing hardware. Therefore, self-managed databases on these servers are inferior to RDS instances.
  • Compute-storage separation is difficult and can cost millions of US dollars on advanced storage media.
  • You must recruit experienced database administrators. This incurs high costs.
Security
  • The IP address whitelist, security group, and VPC isolation mechanisms are provided.
  • You must purchase or configure the link encryption protection mechanism.
  • You must configure the IP address whitelist and VPC isolation mechanisms. This incurs high consultancy costs.
  • You must purchase or configure the link encryption protection mechanism.

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